Apologies for the length of time with no blog posts - stuff, never mind things - have happened. Nothing bad I should point out, but still stuff. Not to mention....things.
So using the joy of language, in naming this post as I have I have created an expectation that I organised a trip out to the Royal Cottage. Except I didn't. It's initially quite believable though isn't it?
So on the 19th I was supposed to be meeting up with the wonderful Tash about 1515 for a walk - sadly, this did not happen due to events. So we agreed she would get a bath and head into town later, and meet me there. At this point my lovely new phone had once again stopped recharging, so I headed into town with my old phone, knowing I could use it on Wi-Fi.
The Social on Snig Hill was my starting place - I had a pint of Serious Bodaceia on cask from the past, along with a pack or two of crisps. When ordering my next at the Bar I asked if they had any WiFi - they said they did, but did not have a password - this explained why , when I checked, neither Tash or Matt had received my messages. After a third of Hophurst DIPA I headed up to High Street, and could not find them.
I thought about popping into the Three Tuns for one but half of it was closed off for a celebration so I headed to my chums at Bar Stewards where I can get onto the WiFi. Here I had a pint of Liquid Light pale - or any other beer, and found I had missed a call from WK. I said he could call me and he suggested that despite it's late notice we could go to the Packhorse at Crowdecote. Having asked Matt and Tash, she was sadly not up to it so WK picked me up after 1800 in his new car, and hour ten minutes later we were at Crowdecote!
Having ordered food we had a choice of 4 real ales and I went on to two pintts of Storm Milk of Amnesia and a pint of Eyam Golden ale, with Keith on a half of the same. The meal was very enjoyable, although sadly we didn't meet up with the guy who knew my Dad - primarily to confirm his recent passing.
From here we drove up into Longnor - now seemingly supporting just a single pub - and headed across the moors past the mermaid's pool and ahead spotted a light in the difference - stopping soon after we found the unsigned road which leads down the side of the Royal Cottage and to our delight the front light was on!
I will never forget how happy it made us both - the smiles on both our faces - and we parked up directly outside before letting ourselves in. When me and Keith and Carlos had been in the funeral car back in January I had said we ought to pop back to see Cliffe - if nothing else as he would possibly say " a thot tha'd deed". On this occasion,l after saying hello, he simply said " a notice thus only two f yer - whes yer Dad - as ee not med it?". I should point out, that nothing that Cliffe says is ever insulting. It's brusque, yes, but reflective of his location and life. We calmly told him that Wee Fath had been found dead at Christmas.
We only stopped for one in here - a bottle of Old Speckled Hen for me and a bottle of Manns Brown ale for WK. Whilst I was in the loo Cliffe told WK all about his thoughts about the passing of Ken at the Quiet Woman and also how he felt things were progressing at Carl's, the Butcher's at Reapsmoor. Always full of info ais Clifffe, and usually reasonably reliable.
On reflection, its an increasingly sad story re local pubs - two have changed hands and four local hostelries have closed permanently in the last ten years. Thankfully the Ner Inn at Flash and the Packhorse at Crowdecote seem to remain strong, but there's less certainty regarding the Butcjhers and especially the Quiet Woman.
We drove straight home from Cliffe's, arriving back about 22:50 for me, with WK hoping to grab a last drink on Crookes in the Two Sheds. Despite the intention of referencing WF's sad passing, I have to say that this was a very enjoyable night out/
Your very best of health